Why Customer-Centric Hotels Gain More Revenues

By Megan Wenzl Associate Editor, ReviewTrackers | October 01, 2017

It is hard to argue that a hotel's primary focus be anything else but the guest, but just how essential is it for hotels to be customer-focused? The answer is - very essential. A major part of being customer-focused is understanding and then ensuring you are giving guests what they want. Specifically, if guests are looking for experiences, then create experiences that are unique and personalized. Details matter.

In the 21st century, customers have access to a wide variety of valuable third-party information about businesses to help them decide on a hotel at which to stay on their next vacation. While customers are using third-party data like online reviews for research, hotels should be using the information for research, too - to understand, improve and continuously update the guest experience.

The only way, however, to create meaningful experiences is by starting at the very core of a company - by building a customer-centric foundation in which the culture thrives on delighting the customer. For example, the way the food is made at your hotel's restaurant should be focused on what the customer wants. Is feedback from your customer data saying that the food should be local? Then make it local. All leaders and departments within your company should be focused on work that matters to the customer. This again reverts back to creating a culture that values the customer at its core - this involves engagement from all of your employees and excitement to create memorable guest experiences. For many employees, this means learning new customer service skills and thinking of customer interactions differently. This is good because companies will obtain and retain valuable customers.

Your customers are people with emotions. They have worries and fears, hopes and dreams, and they want to spend their money on a product or service provided by a company with which they feel a connection. It is in those days or weeks that they are choosing to stay at your hotel, to share a moment of their lives with your staff, that provides a ripe opportunity for hotel executives to create personalized experiences their guests will never forget.

An Entire Town Creates a Program for Customer Service

Consider this: An entire town in Colorado pushed for better customer service with a new customer service training program. Why? Because the town cares about the its guest experience and found that its Net Promoter Score - a rating that comes from the question, "How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?" - was only a score of 70 (out of 100) in 2013.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.